The band played four-in-a-row at this venue - but split in half by a seven-week gap, to record Shakedown Street. The Egypt trip had come together and they needed gigs while heading east, to defray costs. Because the first pair of shows had sold out and profited, Scher was eager to add two shows (followed by their first time in Giants Stadium @Meadowlands). The show is mainly noted for the first (and best of 3) If I Had the World to Give, the first Miracle and the first Stagger. It was not well represented or widely traded, due to an iffy AUD and lack of SBDs, until (relatively) recently.
The seven-week woodshedding isn't very apparent and the reason is because Billy broke his wrist. Against doctor's advice he refused a cast, but band practice was too painful and he relented. Otherwise (and with Egypt coming) these shows would have been cancelled. It affected the sound - which evolved permanently for the end of the Keith & Donna era, and which is one of the reasons we love and study the chronology of this band. Band lore was usually that he broke his arm playing basketball, but his autobio says it was an equestrian issue. "I couldn’t use my left hand - if I just touched the drum with a stick, it sent a sharp pain up my entire left arm. So I learned fast how to play one-handed. It taught me how to play the snare beats with my right hand and not come down all the time with my bass drum." It clearly throws them off. It's a weird show and the lesser of the four Red Rocks shows of '78 - actually of all 20 played here. The second set is long, making up for a short first set.
First Set. 18 of the 24 versions of Promised Land in '78 were first set openers. The beginning is missing, then there's a blown speaker unit for Jer. Sugaree trainwrecks. Jer goes missing from the mix and Phil is hard to hear. Trying to make up for the problems, it's extended to 17min15sec - which is longer than 10/17/83 and one of the longest ever (almost as long as 5/28/77). Mexicali is average, but quien sabe - maybe a SBD would shed light. Stagger Lee is the first of three premieres (plus two the next day). Freshly written as Hunter's version of Stack O' Lee, it's not bad to start but becomes sluggish. The end is much better, even with Bobby's Slide Practice™. Though the crawling tempo of Looks Like Rain might be for Billy's sake, it and Deal are the bright spots.
Second Set. It's the first time through I Need a Miracle and even after woodshedding stops are missed and lyrics are flubbed. It would be until the October Winterland shows that they got on top of this one, and until 11/24 for first ace. That said, Jer adds a nice jam section. Note that rather than the expanding the jam over time, Jer shrunk this one after the early versions. The tempo is already better than the first set. Brown Eyed Women has a wonderful solo - and then trainwrecks when Jer goes to the bridge instead of the 3rd verse. The next few are above average. Estimated>Other One>Eyes is played at two shows in a row - surely unexpected to those that went to both. Eyes is the best of show. Space is great for Phil fans and would have been a treat in person, even with the smaller system they brought to RR in '78. Fairly psychedelic, it bends forward to the '80s. Nobody had yet heard If I Had the World to Give and it works well out of Space. Not the tightest, it's the most swirling dark/bright. But you can also see why it was soon dropped. Even pitch-corrected Iko is super sludgy. If it can be slowed too far, this is it. Listen to the tempo at the beginning and then the end. The drummers start getting behind the beat, pulling everybody into the mud. Something either wears off or kicks in and they are barely playing by the end. Bobby just sticks to slide for most of this. Weirdly, there's and edit on the SBDs @~5:33, cutting 28sec and removing two iterations of the chorus. The AUD is complete and sounds better here anyway. Around is loose and has Donna squelch, but Jer and Phil are glue here. It's also one of the longest ever. An average U.S. Blues has some shoes in dryer and Bobby's back to slide. Not a bad show per se, but the momentum of the July shows has evaporated (or sublimated, given the altitude).
1st Set: C 2nd Set: C+
Overall = 2½ stars
If I Had the World to Give - swirling dark/bright; the best version
SOURCES: For decades only the AUD was around. Still the only source for the first set, it's better than no document at all, but the set has equip and mixing problems beyond AUD quality that would likely be on the SBD. It's good quality for '78; but this was clearly before the Taper's Tix section. The next day's show was unexpectedly rescued by a SBD so maybe a first set SBD will turn up.The barbella SBD has the second set but runs extremely slow and needs +4% pitch, leading some to think the band was asleep or had gotten into the 714s. It also plays Drums twice and has a cut in Eyes. The miller_110151 improved, but needs +1% pitch until The Other One. Eyes is patched but you need the AUD for the complete Iko.
March 30, 2011 Subject:
don't miss parts
while there are some"slow" parts of this show, that's actually whhat makes it for me.
I was 3rd row infront of the fat man and the Captain took me to ubncharted waters that night.
From the Eyes on it is sublime majic, meant for transidental experimentation*S*.
As one that was there, it didn't matter how it ended after WTG
March 16, 2011 Subject:
Doesn't get any better
I wanted to balance out the last review. IIHTWTG...it doesn't get any better. First ever, right? And the Eyes of the World is..well...sublime. The rest is tops too. This show has a different feel to it than many others...whatever it is, it is ineffable.
March 15, 2011 Subject:
Garcia is asleep. No energy. So many better shows. Let's be honest.
October 20, 2010 Subject:
So... I started with this band in '81, and had the pleasure of seeing them work their magic for the rest of their incarnation thereafter until Garcia's demise in '95 - I love to listen to the fat man emote, and this is as good an example as you will find - the lyric to "If I had the world to give" has always been for me a special expression of his appreciation for those who "get" him, and the subsequent Aiko is quintessential '78 laid-back jam-ass goodness - Let it be known that those who spend their time processing and delivering this amazing record of history should be given full credit for their efforts and their devotion to the craft, and the moment, and everything else that makes this a uniquely exquisite experience for all that are compelled to go here - Thanks to you for sharing this great time with us all...